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Book examines Pacific conflict and insecurity

15 November 2005

Book examines Pacific conflict and insecurity

A series of roundtable discussions will be held in New Zealand and Fiji over the next fortnight to mark the launch of a book which addresses conflict and insecurity in the Pacific.

Securing a Peaceful Pacific, edited by Associate Professor John Henderson and Greg Watson and released this month by Canterbury University Press, is based on a major international conference held at the University of Canterbury in October 2004.

The book brings Pacific voices together drawing on the expertise and experience of a diverse range of contributors, including academics, diplomats, soldiers, police, aid workers, non-government organisations and indigenous Pacific people themselves.

The Fiji coups, the conflicts in Bougainville, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and West Papua are covered in detail. Other topics include the causes of conflict, conflict termination, post-conflict reconstruction, terrorism “threats”, prospects for regionalism and environmental security.

Associate Professor Henderson says the book is far more than a conference proceedings as papers have been reworked, conflict overviews written, and contributions commissioned to fill gaps to produce “a more coherent, comprehensive, in-depth analysis of security in the region”.

This timely and important publication will be of interest to academic and general readers alike who share an interest in the past, present and future developments of our Pacific neighbourhood. It will also be a valuable tool for practitioners involved in conflict resolution in the Pacific.

The first of a series of roundtable discussions, linked to four book launches, will be held in Christchurch this Wednesday 16 November at the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies at the University of Canterbury. Subsequent events will be held in Wellington on 17 November, Auckland on 22 November and in Suva on 24 November as part of the Pacific Islands Political Studies Association conference.

“The roundtables are a chance to discuss the policy implications of what we’ve researched and written and explore how best to secure a peaceful Pacific,” says Associate Professor Henderson.

The roundtables and launches have been generously funded by the University of Canterbury, Public Advisory Committee on Disarmament and Arms Control (PACDAC), the Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF) and the New Zealand High Commission, Suva, Fiji.


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